Bledsoe Obtains Summary Judgment in Favor of Owners of Residential Rental Property After Visitor Fell Three Stories

On November 2, 2012, Alison M. Crane obtained summary judgment in favor of her client in a personal injury action. The plaintiff sued our clients, owners of residential rental property in San Francisco, after she fell three (3) stories off a roof and sustained injuries including multiple vertebral fractures as well as injuries to her lower extremities.

The plaintiff accessed the roof of our clients’ property after scaling down a three foot wall from an adjacent roof. While trying to return to the original roof she stepped on and fell through a plastic skylight cover which spanned a light-well between the two properties. Plaintiff claimed the skylight constituted a dangerous condition and the property owners had failed to adequately inspect and maintain the coverings. Defendants, who prohibited access to the roof for anything other than emergency ingress and egress, countered that they owed no duty to Plaintiff, a trespasser. Given that the roof was not used by tenants, it was unforeseeable that anyone would come into contact with the skylight at all, let alone try to walk on it.

Bledsoe filed a motion for summary judgment or, in the alternative, summary adjudication as to each cause of action presented by plaintiff’s complaint as well as the cross-complaint filed by the adjacent property owners.

Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith of the San Francisco Superior Court agreed the plaintiff had not and could not establish a triable issue of material fact as to any of her claims. Accordingly, summary judgment was granted in favor of our clients and against plaintiff and the adjacent property owner, ending our clients’ involvement in this litigation well before the March 2013 trial date.